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Full text of "Verdict On India"

25-Jj                                       VERDICT OX INDIA
ever been entrusted with any wide powers either in the field or in
the office. Once again, let us giant that this may be our fault,
thai "we have deliberately kept in our own hands the reins of power.
That may be so, but whether it is due to British selfishness, or
Indian reluctance to assume responsibility, irs neither here rior
there. The facts Lire all tLat matter, e,nd the facts show us that as
far as its officers are concerned the Indian army would have to
start almost from scratch.
Is it suggested that these officers will suddenly drop from the
skies, fully armea, miraculously endowed with the powers of dis-
cipline and command v\hich must be theirs if they are to be worthy
of their tiust ? From the declarations of Congress, this apparently
is the suggestion. But to the realist it must surely appear doubtful
whether so vast a cadre of highly trained men, with all the technical
knowledge needed by the modern officer, can be created in the
space of less than one generation, even under the most favourable
circumstances.
\\hat is to happen while this army is being created ? Is India
to be defended by an international army of Poles, Free French,-
Americans, Russians and Chinese ? (Presumably the services of the
hated British will not be required.) And is it going to be so simple,
let us say, for a Czech lieutenant or a Norwegian sergeant to teach
a bunch of non-violent Madrasis the elements of tank warfare—
particularly when there happens to be no tanks available ? Which
reminds us of another little difficulty—the absence of an armament
industry. Is there going to be another race among these inter-
national blood suckers to arm India—or rather, the two Indias ?
Are we going to see another breed of Zaharoffs trotting backwards
and forwards across the borders of Pakistan and Hindustan, selling
fifty machine guns to the Muslims on Monday and sixty machine
guns to the Hindus on Tuesday ?
These questions may be regarded as a reductio ad ttbsurdum ;
but then the problem that they are probing is in itself absurd. It
is absuid to imagine that India can dispense with an army ; it is
absurd to suggest that she has an army ; it is absurd to believe that
this army can be created in less than, twenty years ; and it is trebly,
absurd to underrate the dangers and difficulties with which any
at international control will be beset.